When you’re running a business it’s never a bad idea to learn from those at the top of the pyramid.
And luckily for small business owners, most of the world’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs share one thing in common: they read (a lot).
Warren Buffett credits his success to reading and Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year. Mark Cuban says he reads more than three hours a day and Elon Musk learned how to built rockets by, you guessed it, reading.
So from learning how to start a business to growing your enterprise to the next level, we put together a list of must-read books for the summer.
And if you feel like you’re too busy to read, ask yourself this question: when the world’s top innovators make time to read everyday, why shouldn’t you?
Our Small Business Summer Reading Picks:
1. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
This is the first book every small business owner should read. In it, Gerber dispels the myth that hard work leads directly to success. While hard work is essential, Gerber goes beyond the myth and outlines three roles every business owner must fill to succeed.
The E-Myth Revisited gives readers actionable steps to transform a startup into a successful enterprise while helping you avoid common pitfalls. It’s also an easy read, so pick up a copy and get started.
2. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
This book is all about leadership, and is an essential read for every business owner. Sinek’s key idea is that too many leaders focus so much on what they want to do that they forget why they want to do it.
That’s a problem because, Sinek says, the best way to inspire yourself and others is to focus on communicating the “why” rather than the “how” or the “what.” Start With Why gives you three ways to do this, helping you energize your business to reach new heights.
3. Deep Work by Cal Newport
There are only so many hours in a day, yet some people get way more done in those hours than others. In Deep Work, Newport offers real world tips to help you cut through the distractions to focus entirely on what you’re doing.
This book offers four rules that, when practiced, can help transform your mind to produce better results in less time. Newport’s unique mix of actionable advice and cultural criticisms make for an enjoyable, thought provoking read that everyone can benefit from.
4. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Originally published in 1989, we’re willing to bet you’ve heard of this one. But have you read it?
From learning how to live intentionally to adopting an abundance mentality, this book is full of insights to help small business owners move their business towards their envisioned end. If you haven’t read this yet, it’s time to pick it up—it’s a classic for a reason.
5. Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez
If you’re looking for a book that’s as fun as it is informative, this is it. Martinez lays bare the world of tech startups, peeling back the veneer of sophistication to reveal the industry’s inner workings.
On top of being entertained, this book will help small business owners understand the evolution of social media and online marketing. And if Martinez is right, we’ll even get a glimpse of where it’s all going.
6. Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
In this book, Collins and Porras draw on a six-year Stanford University research project to find out why 18 of the most successful companies outperformed their competitors. Rather than giving superficial or overly general answers, the authors take a deep look at what these companies did differently as they grew from startups to large corporations.
If you want tested, specific examples on how to build a strong organization, Built to Last has the ideas and data you’re looking for.
7. Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
Crushing It! came out in January 2018 and tells you everything you need to know about contemporary social media marketing. It builds upon Vaynerchuk’s 2009 best seller Crush It and offers new strategies and inspiration to help you build your brand online.
This is the ideal book for small business owners who want to stay up to date on the best ways to grow their brand over every type of social media platform.
8. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Ever wonder how Nike grew from a one-man operation to a market leader with annual sales topping $30 billion? In Shoe Dog, Nike founder Phil Knight gives us a surprisingly candid look at Nike’s tumultuous rise as he opens up on the mistakes and sacrifices he made along the way.
This is the perfect autobiography for small business owners, especially when you need a reminder that the path to success is often paved with failures and uncertainty.
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